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The brake place called about 1:30 p.m. to say the Crayola was ready to go home, I called my mom and she came by to pick me up and dropped me off at the brake place.  They showed us one of the front brake discs which was all corroded and scored — ordinarily they can grind them smooth again and not have to replace them, but mine were scored below the tolerance level, and they showed us one of the back calipers where the brake shoe had completely worn away and fallen off — that was where my “metal on metal” sound was coming from.  $940 bucks (£618)  later, we were good to go.  They also said that what had taken so long was that one of the parts they ordered was defective and they had to return it for a replacement.

So now, I get in the car and get ready to drive home, put my foot on the clutch so I can start it, and the pedal goes all the way to the floor with hardly any resistance.  I know what that means.  I get out, get my bottle of hydraulic fluid out of the trunk/boot, pop the hood/bonnet and fill the clutch fluid reservoir, which is empty.  I’m in the middle of this when Elvis (who is wearing his company uniform shirt with “Elvis” embroidered over the front pocket) and Michael, the manager, come walking out to see what’s wrong.  I explain to them that there’s a slow leak in the clutch line somewhere and I periodically have to fill the reservoir, for which purpose I keep a bottle of hydraulic fluid in the trunk, no biggie.  It takes a minute or two of driving for the hydraulic fluid to work back into the system before the gears will mesh again without grinding like a garbage disposal.  I have to work the pedal and run the engine and shift a couple of times before all is copacetic once more.  And guess what?  I have brakes!

As long as I was already out, I stopped by the bank to get a money order to pay my rent. (I have a thing about sending personal checks through the mail — a personal check has pretty much all the information somebody needs to hijack your bank account.  I also have a thing about saying my phone number or address in public, like when a clerk asks for that information to fill in an invoice or sales ticket, or some stores use your phone number as your account number.  These days, you never know what kind of wacko stalker psycho might be listening — you can easily look up a phone number on the internet and get the person’s address — something to think about if you’re a woman and especially if you live alone.  I keep one of my business cards handy and just let them copy what information they need off of it. )  Then I stopped off at Petsmart to get cat food and kitty litter, and then went a couple stores down to Michael’s and treated myself to some yarn to make a ruana by modifying this pattern that Soulemama showed on her blog. The yarn is a very pale light silver blue that’s about an inch away from a pale silver grey.  I think it’ll make up nicely, and the color is neutral enough to go with almost anything. (I thought about using some camel brown yarn I already had but then I thought, “How blah and run of the mill.”)   Then I went home by way of Taco Villa and got 3 crisp tacos and a combo burritofor a late lunch.

I’ve had to “ease” the blister on my foot again.  I’m particularly anxious that the skin over the blister not rupture or tear, as it covers and protects the underlying raw skin and minimizes the risk of infection.  This time it was filled with clear fluid, which I pressed out, then wiped it all down well with alcohol, put a dab of Johnson and Johnson lavender bath gel (essentially lavender scented mineral oil but wonderful!) on the bandage pad of the Band Aid to keep my skin from sticking to it and taped it up again.  It’s still sore to walk on, so I’ve been limping around on it. It’s been a figurative pain as well as a literal one.

I had to uninstall all the McAfee programs on my BFF’s computer, then I ran Malwarebytes, the Semantec antivirus off the Geek Squad website.  Then I re-downloaded the McAfee programs and ran a McAfee scan.  Then I watched a 1-hour video.  The computer did not freeze up once during all this.  I think that’s the computer sorted.

I want to listen to the BBC Radio 4 dramatization of Neil Gaiman’s novel Neverwhere, so I think I’ll do that while I wind the just-bought skeins of yarn into balls.  The pattern I plan to use is trickier than the circular shawl one.  I’m going to use size 2 (2.75 mm) needles to knit it because the yarn is not as thick as regular knitting worsted, and increase the width from 9 to 35 inches.  Since the pattern repeats across the width, that won’t be a problem.  I can get the stitch gage from my circular shawl, which is the same brand and size of yarn, and is also being done on the same size needle.